Amarcast India Tech News Update 14 July: The Tiktok War, Flipkart raises $1.2 bn at $24.9 bn valuation
1. The TikTok War: Over the last week, as the idea of banning TikTok in the U.S. has shifted from a fringe idea to a seeming inevitability (thanks in no small part to India’s decision to do just that), those opposed to the idea and those in support seem to be talking past each other. The reasons for this disconnect go beyond the usual divisions in tech, culture, and national security: what makes TikTok so unique is that it is the culmination of two trends: one about humans and the Internet, and the other about China and ideology.
Humans prefer video to photos to text
TikTok makes it easy to create videos, ensuring a massive supply of content (even if most of the supply is low quality)
TikTok relies on the algorithm to surface compelling content and is not constrained by your social network
In the initial email, which was obtained by The New York Times, Amazon officials said that because of “security risks,” employees must delete the app from any devices that “access Amazon email.” Employees had to remove the app by Friday to remain able to obtain mobile access to their Amazon email, the note said.
2. Chinese e-commerce platform, Club Factory, now appears to be on the tax official’s radar for possible violations of the Goods & Service Tax (GST). Two sources confirmed to Entrackr that sleuths from the Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence (DGGI) carried out search and survey operations at Club Factory’s office earlier this week.
Subsequently, they also visited the offices of three NCR-based logistics companies who handle the delivery of shipments for Club Factory. These include Softbank-backed Delhivery, XpressBees & EComm Express.
“Officials of the GST department were looking for information relating to the shipments handled by these logistics players on behalf of Club Factory. Amongst other information, the details of select sellers active on the e-commerce platform has also been collected to examine possible non-payment of GST,” said one of the sources on condition of anonymity.
3. India has faced increased cyber-attacks from China and Pakistan since the nationwide lockdown was imposed end-March and the country continues to encounter threats from malware that communicates with Chinese servers, government officials and cyber security companies told ET.
Most of the hackings are through phishing emails, malicious advertisements on websites, and third-party apps and programs, experts said. Healthcare services and educational institutions have been the targets, said Sanjay Bahl, Director-General of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), India’s nodal cyber security agency.
“Because of the pandemic, healthcare services and academia are the new spaces which are emerging as targets for malicious cyber actors, while the usual areas such as critical infrastructure, government, financial services, continue to be on their radar,” Bahl said.
4. Walmart to infuse $1.2 billion in Flipkart ecommerce business at $24.9 billion valuation: Walmart Inc has led a $1.2 billion investment in Flipkart Group, valuing the company at $24.9 billion, about 19% higher than when it sold a majority stake to the US retail behemoth.
A group of existing shareholders also participated in the round, Walmart said in a statement, adding that the investment would be funded in two tranches over the remainder of the fiscal year. Tiger Global, Tencent and Accel are Flipkart’s other existing backers.